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Tutorial Lesson 4: Arranging plants

In this lesson you will import some flowers from another plant file, arrange flowers into a bouquet, and copy a picture of the plants to the clipboard.

Open the file from the third lesson

If you haven't already done the
third tutorial lesson, open the file called Tutorial Lesson 3.pla in your PlantStudio directory. If you already did the third lesson, open the file you made now if it is not already open. In either case you should see three Black-eyed Susans in the drawing area.

Import some plants

Let's bring in some other plants to add some variety to our bouquet.

  1. Choose Plant Mover from the File menu. The plant mover will appear with your file on the left side. [If PlantStudio asks you if you want to save your file before opening the mover, click No. The list of plants on the left side of the plant mover might be wrong, but it doesn't matter because we won't be using it.]

  2. Click Open on the right side of the plant mover and choose the file Library of wildflowers.pla in the PlantStudio directory.

  3. Click on fleabane. Notice that you can see the fleabane plant in the preview area in the middle of the window.

  4. Hold down the Control key and click on wild pink. Those two names should be selected in the right list.

  5. Click Copy. This will copy the plants to the clipboard.

  6. Now click Quit. [If PlantStudio asks if you want to save changes to either file, click No.]

  7. Back in the main window, choose Paste from the Edit menu. The two plants you copied from the other file will appear.

  8. Paste again to get another two plants.

  9. If some of your plants are larger than others, select the plants with the wrong size and resize them to match the others now.

Make the bouquet

Now for our bouquet.

  1. Choose Select All from the Layout menu.

  2. Choose Make into Bouquet from the Layout menu. All your plants will collapse into one spot. The bouquet may not look like much yet, because you have no random variation between the plants.

  3. Drag the whole bouquet into the center of the picture, if it is not there already.

  4. Let's get rid of those rectangles so we can see what we are doing. Turn off the Show Selection Rectangles option in the Options menu.

  5. Now let's do some randomizing. Type Control-R to randomize the plants. Do this several times until you have a bouquet you like.

Save your file

Now save your plant file. It's a good idea to save your file before you copy a picture to the clipboard and open another program, because you might be stressing the memory capabilities of your computer. Choose Save from the File menu, choose a directory, and type in My tutorial 4.pla.

Copy the picture

When you are satisfied with your bouquet, you are ready to export the picture.

  1. Choose the Draw as Solids option in the Options menu. It's important to remember that PlantStudio always uses the current drawing option when you save, copy or print a picture.

  2. Choose Copy Picture from the Edit menu. The picture export options window will appear.

  3. Under the Draw which plants? section in the upper left, click the all radio button.

  4. Set the Color depth choice to whatever you want to use for your drawing program. Most drawing programs prefer 24-bit color with 16 million colors, so that is a good choice.

  5. Set the Resolution at whatever resolution your printer can handle. Typically this is 300 pixels per inch (same as dots per inch in this case). If you don't have a lot of free memory, you might want to set the resolution smaller, to between 100 and 200 pixels per inch. If you are planning to use the picture for display on the screen (on the web, for example) you can set the resolution lower.

  6. Click Copy.

  7. Now open your drawing program and choose Paste from its Edit menu. You should see your bouquet there in all its glory. Now you can play with the picture using your graphics program as you normally do.

Move on to Lesson 5: Breeding new varieties

Go to the Tutorial Index

Read more about:

Using the plant mover

Moving and arranging plants

Randomizing plants

Copying pictures

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Updated: March 10, 1999. Questions/comments on site to
Copyright © 1998, 1999 Paul D. Fernhout & Cynthia F. Kurtz.